Habari zenu, Good morning,
Honorable Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury; Honorable Michael Kamau, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure; Lucy Mbugua Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority; other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great honor to be with you.
Today, I am very pleased to announce that the U.S. Government is contributing $700,000, or KSH 60 million, worth of equipment and training that will help the Kenya Airports Authority and the Government of Kenya develop new systems and technologies to protect its citizens in the skies and on the ground.
The equipment consists of 20 Explosive Trace Detection units that test for traces of explosives that may be on air travelers or in their bags as they check in for flights at Kenyan airports. It is a flexible screening technology that offers quick, effective and cost-efficient security checks of airline passengers.
Last month the U.S. Transportation Security Administration trained 57 KAA screeners from 7 airports across Kenya on how to use the equipment. In the past, the TSA has also worked with the KAA to share best practices in aviation security and to upgrade Kenyan airports to international standards.
I want to thank the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the National Treasury, the Kenya Airports Authority, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Transportation Security Administration for their hard work in procuring and transferring the 20 Explosive Trace Detection units to Kenya.
We all know how vital the airline industry is to expanding economic activity and trade in Kenya. The airline industry plays a vital role in creating economic opportunities for Kenyans and facilitating international responses to humanitarian crises.
Safe air travel is also essential to the growth of domestic tourism. It will create more jobs for Kenyans, provide faster travel options to destinations all over the country, and help Kenyans become more familiar with their country and its remarkable diversity.
The United States has been Kenya’s partner over the past 50 years. Our friendship rests on the strongest foundation, our shared belief in freedom and democracy. Our ties are a complex web of political, economic, and cultural connections that grow stronger by the day. Together, I know the next 50 years will be even brighter for Kenya and for the US-Kenyan partnership.
The donation of these Explosive Trace Detectors, which will help Kenya safeguard its borders and protect its citizens, is another fine example of the deep cooperation between our two governments, a partnership that benefits both our peoples.
In closing, I want to recognize everyone here today for your vital role in enhancing the safety of Kenyans and foreign visitors from across the globe. Your dedication and hard work make air travel safer and more secure for everyone.
Last updated: January 22, 2015